Return of the Toxic Caterpillars

Sick of cars parking in bike lanes? Write own parking tickets during Falschparker Aktionswoche, which starts on May 28. Illegal parkers are fined just €20 in Berlin if caught, while the EU average is €100. You can use an app called Wegeheld to report drivers to the authorities, if you don’t mind being called a Spießer.

Trees in Berlin parks are being wrapped in white webs by an invasion of oak processionary moth caterpillars. Watch out for their bristles – they contain a toxin which irritates the skin and causes respiratory problems. The trees should recover in a few weeks, though.

Karneval der Kulturen is on again this weekend all around Kreuzberg 61, but it might be the last year it’s held there due to rising security costs. If you don’t like crowds, try the Berlin Mural Festival, found on walls across the city.

Our next live show is on 6pm, Sunday May 27. We’re back at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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How To F#€k Up An Airport – Episode 4: Never Finished (live!)

A special live recording of the fourth and (maybe) last episodein our BER series. Join us for a tour of all four of Berlin’s under-construction, out-of-use, falling-apart and over-capacity airports. Each has had a part to play in the story of how Berlin fucked up an airport.

At BER, we hear the airport company’s side of the story: damn high regulations got in the way, they say. Tempelhof is closed, Tegel is operating precariously, and only socialist-built Schönefeld is muddling through. The end is in sight – October 2020. But even now Berlin is planning to double BER’s floorplan and build a new government terminal.

BER critic Dieter Faulenbach da Costa tells us the building is rotten to the core and should be scrapped. “I am convinced this airport can never open. They should pray for a miracle.”

We are joined on stage by Martin Delius, the former Pirate Party politician who led the Berlin parliamentary investigation into BER. Who was responsible for BER? All Berliners, he says. We ignored warning signs and re-elected incompetent politicians.

This episode was recorded live on stage at Prachtwerk Neukölln on Sunday April 29, with audio support from Craig Schüftan from Ducks.

How To Fuck Up An Airport is presented by Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins.
Producer: Joel Dullroy
Presenters: Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern
Music: Ducks!
Artwork: Jim Avignon

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How To F#€K Up An Airport – Live Recording!


What went wrong at BER? Join us for a live recording of How To F#€K Up An Airport Episode 4. Find out how the BER saga ends! (Spoiler alert – it never ends).

Your hosts Maisie, Joel, Jöran and Daniel Stern will be joined on stage by special guest Martin Delius, the former Pirate Party politician who investigated BER. Live radiophonics by Craig Schuftan.

Entry is free. Come early to get a seat. Listen to the previous episodes here.

When: Sunday April 29
Doors open at 17:30. Recording starts at 18:00.

Where: Prachtwerk Berlin
Ganghoferstr. 2, 12043 Berlin, Germany

Facebook Event link here

U-Bahn Flood Alert


Chris Dercon has resigned from the Volksbuehne Theater, just six months into the job, and following a lot of fuss over his appointment. It seems he had failed to secure enough sponsorship money to pay the bills. Joel says he wasn’t given a fair chance. Konrad says he was always wrong for the job.

The AFD tried to shut down Berghain, complaining about the strange hours, sex and drugs, bad music and exclusive door policy. The AFD representative Sybille Schmidt used to run a punk club. The party later backed down from the proposal.

The U-Bahn network has a special alarm system in the case of a flash flood in the tunnels. It could have to be activated if a skyscraper being built on Alexanderplatz breaks the water table and floods 17 stations on the U2, U5 and U8 lines. Züruck schwimmen, bitte!

It’s garden season, but if you want a kleingarten plot on the edge of town you’ll have to wait three years. There are already 12,000 people on a waiting list for one of 70,000 gardens.

Come to our live recording of the next episode of How To F#€k Up an Airport. It’s on Sunday April 29, 6pm, at Prachtwerk in Neukölln.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Konrad Werner, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Hasenheide Goat Killers


Two men who killed a goat in the Hasenheide petting zoo have been sentenced to 10 months in jail. Their lawyer said they were hungry, and argued for leniency as they only took one leg. Also, all meat eaters are animal killers, he said.

Another Berlin ban has been overturned by a court. Horses and carriages will be allowed back in front of the Brandenburger Tor, despite the city government’s attempt to forbid them. The city’s prohibitions on AirBnB, Uber and beer bikes have all been watered down through legal action.

Spreepark at Plänterwald is now open for tours. But high levels of arsenic contamination have been found at the formerly abandoned theme park. Still want to jump the fence?

As Berlin’s unemployment rate falls to half of its 2005 level, Mayor Michael Müller has proposed introducing a “solidarity basic income.” Unlike a real basic income, it would oblige recipients to do municipal or social work. Would creative projects like podcasts count?

If you want to protest against rising rents, join the Mietenwahnsinn (Rental Madness) demo on April 14 at 2pm, starting at Potsdamer Platz.

This episode was presented by Maisie Hitchcock and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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RS Live: Renting Out Your Room

How much do Berlin’s bottle collectors earn? Our guest Wouter Bernhardt has done the math – it’s a measly €150 a month. He thinks it amounts to a form of socially accepted poverty. Wouter is host of the Berlinology podcast. Listen to the full episode of ‘The Bottle Collector’ here: http://viertausendhertz.de/bln02/

The Berlin Senate has changed the AirBnB law to allow people to rent out their flats as holiday apartments for up to 60 days per year. Starting on May 1, you can obtain a registration number from the Bürgeramt, which must be displayed online. But you still risk getting evicted by your landlord for using your flat for commercial purposes.

We talk to Jana Burbach and Niko Schulz-Dornburg, the writers of a new TV series about flat sharing in Berlin. The show is called Just Push Abuba, and it’s the first English-language show produced by ZDF. Watch it online at: https://www.zdf.de/serien/just-push-abuba

In February, Berlin passed a milestone: the Berlin wall has now been down for longer than it was up (28 years). At the same time, an opinion poll found that Die Linke became the most popular party in Berlin for the first time since 1990. The city’s R2G coalition parties (Die Linke, SPD and Die Grünen) would get 57% of the vote. Are they doing a good job? Joel thinks so. Our guest Konrad Werner thinks they could do better.

Some Berliners want to dramatically reduce advertising in the city. Berlin Werbefrei is an initiative collecting signatures to trigger a referendum. They propose eliminating ads on public buildings. It would reduce the Berlin’s revenue by €31 million annually, or 0.1% of the state budget. Find out more at https://berlin-werbefrei.de

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Cherry Tree Massacre

Bike thefts are down 11% in Berlin. Just over 30,000 bikes were reported stolen in the past year, 4000 less than the year before. Has the flood of shared bikes helped?

There’s been a cherry tree massacre at the Garten der Welt in Marzahn. Seventeen cherry trees were chopped down on Sunday. The kirchbäume were the garden’s biggest drawcard each spring during the cherry blossom season. The gardens have been targeted by protests over a plan to have sheep and cattle graze on nearby paddocks.

Don’t be confused if soon see U3 trains running on the U1 line. The BVG is extending the U3 all the way to Warschauer Straße to increase service frequency. In the past 10 years, passenger numbers have increased by 17%, but there are about 5% less carriages.

The Berlin Feminist Film Week is on now with a programme of movies made by women, transgender and queer film-makers. It’s on at Crcrl in Neukölln and Babylon in Mitte until Wednesday March 14.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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RS Live: Inside Tempelhof

Film director Karim Ainouz tells us what life was really like for refugees living in Tempelhof airport. His documentary “Zentralflughafen THF” was filmed in the camp, which recently closed.

Could public transport in Germany soon be free? The federal government suggested it as a way of reducing air pollution from diesel cars. What would Berlin be like if dirty cars are banned? Should car manufacturers be made to pay for cheating and lying?

Maisie says Berlin’s U-Bahns are filling up with more passengers. That might be because the BVG has cut costs and failed to order enough trains. They’re now allowing graffiti-tagged carriages to stay on the tracks.

This episode was recorded live at the Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday February 25, 2018. Hosts: Maisie Hitchcock, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.

Image © Juan Sarmiento, Luxbox films.

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How To F#€k Up An Airport – Episode 3: Money for Nothing


BER has been built twice – the first time incorrectly, the second time incompletely. We hear from Marco, an engineer who worked on site. Employees were busy stealing copper instead of fixing the fire system. Some managers got rich taking bribes. Informers had their coffee poisoned.

Joel and Jöran drive out to the unfinished BER terminal to inspect the too-short escalators that end with stairs. They were just one of 150,000 mistakes discovered in an audit after the 2012 cancellation. Cables were stuffed together in overloaded enclosures – a fire risk. The sprinkler pipes were too small to carry the required water. More than 600 fire walls had to be reconstructed. And the builders forgot to install lightning rods.

Even when it’s fixed, BER will need another overhaul: “As soon as they open it they have to modernize it,” Marco says. “The technology is old standards. New airports are already building in a different way. This is going to be from the beginning an old airport.”

But finally, heads are starting to roll… the wrong heads. The BER supervisory board fires the only people who know what’s going on, creating new chaos. Then they fire the CEO Rainer Schwarz, but bungle the paperwork. Will any politician ever take responsibility?

How To Fuck Up An Airport is presented by Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins.
Producer: Joel Dullroy
Presenters: Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern
Music: Ducks!
Artwork: Jim Avignon

Subscribe to Radio Spaetkauf on iTunes.

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How To Fuck Up An Airport – Episode 2: Double The Recipe


Days away from the planned 2012 opening party, nothing seemed wrong at BER. What was really going on? On this episode, we look at how the airport managers and politicians were messing with the plans, even as construction was underway.

They demanded a 70% increase in terminal space to add hundreds of extra shops, and requested special double story boarding gates for the supersized Airbus A380, even though no airline requested it. Instead of a working fire safety system, they planned to hire up to 800 people to act as human fire alarms.

Despite multiple warnings, the airport board pushed ahead with opening party plans right up until May 8, 2012, when the first major delay was announced. We meet the man who put a stop to it all – Stephan Loge, the administrator of the Brandenburg building department.

Also on this episode, Joel and Jöran visit the Schönefeld S-Bahn station in search of the empty train that runs nightly to the unfinished airport to keep air moving through the tunnels.

How To Fuck Up An Airport is presented by Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins.
Producer: Joel Dullroy
Presenters: Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern
Music: Ducks!
Artwork: Jim Avignon

Subscribe to Radio Spaetkauf on iTunes.

Support us with a monthly donation!